photography business plan

How to write a photography business plan What is a business plan? How to write a photography business plan – Assuming you are already mastering most of the photography skills […]

How to write a photography business plan

What is a business plan?

How to write a photography business plan – Assuming you are already mastering most of the photography skills and you are ready to take it to he next level in becoming a professional photographer with a business attached to it, first step would be to prepare a photography business plan

A simple answer to the question above is:

a business plan is a document to outline your goals and how are you going to get there

Writing down a photography business plan with measurable milestones, deadlines, performance statments and budget, is 50% of the action. Going blindly ahead without knowing what ad where you want to go may let you drift away. 90% of the new businesses, photography or not, will fail due to the lack of planning.

So, get to work and prepare a document to answer the follwing questions you you are almost there:

1 . Mission Statement.

Write concisely, what do you want to achive, where do you want to go!

example – I would like to become a professional photographer, finacialy independent, so I can work for myself and have enough time to spend with my family. Keep it short and never forget it

2. How?

Think about how you are going to achieve your goal. Think about it carefully and be as honest with yourself as possible

example – I am going to become financially independent, by taking at least 50 weddings/ year and 20 family portraits. I am going to promote my business and maintain it to have a constant flow of business. you can add as much detail you are capable at this stage. you can detail few steps

3.  How long it will take me?

You need to think about a program as realistic as possible and set yourself few steps and intermediate milestones. You can draw this program in a software, or just make a list of dates when you want the achieve various things

Example – I will purchase my equipment in the next 2 weeks, train for 3 months. I wiill start promotion after that which I will alow myself 6-12 months. I want to become a full time professional photographer, in 3 years.

You might want to break it up per individual activities and task as it will be easier to track progress. Put timelines agains each task and cost

List of necessary resources

4. What are the costs involved for opening a photography business and what  equipment and software do I need

Photography is an expensive hobby, but it is not expensive any more when you are investing in equipment which will bring you a return and pay for itself. Never be afraid of making the investment as it is a condition to succeed. you do not have to buy the most expensive gear but do not go to cheap. good cameras are becoming more affordable these days

Outline as many cost as possible so you will get a better picture what uou need to invest

here are few thinsg you need to take into consideration. There are taxing implication, but this will be subject to another article

– direct equipment costs such as camera or cameras, lenses, bags and accessories, flashes, lights, props, tripods

– public liability insurance to protect yourself in case someone gets injured due to your activity

– business insurance – for you requipment

– banking fees for your business account. EFPTOS and credit card facilities

– website domain and hosting

– advertising costs, marketing materials, brochures, business cards, adds in paper and bridal magazines, internet marketing

– PO BOX rental – may be a good idea to have

– rent or lease – depedning if you need a place of business or you can do it from home – recomendable for beginners

All up the full figure does not need to scare you as it has to be done in order to make it happen and it can be done in steps. You just need to start and some of the costs can be scheduled.

Any proper business requires a certain investment, time ad patience and there will be returns if done properly

5. Unique selling point statement – specific for you as a professional photographer

What will make me different form other photographers will be competing with?

Answer this questions and you will have a better chance of succeeding

6. Target income from photography

List your desired income and make sure you are working towards achieving it

Example: 50 weddings/year $3,000 each plus 50 Family portraits with an average value of $500

7. Marketing strategies for a photography business

list all your intended and researched marketing strategies

Example: flyer distribution, referral system (recommend me and get $50 voucher !), raffles in public spaces, organise a theme day, brochures distribution, how many and where, face to face with local businesses, gift vouchers, magazines (bridal, babies related to your business), monthly newsletter

8 . Business process plan and workflow

You need to answer the question on how are you going to sign up a new client, charge, sending receipts.How are you going to follow up later after close of business

9. Future strategies for development

what happens if I achieve what I wanted to achieve as a professional photographer

10. Attachments

such as sample pricing list, wedding packages, portrait packages, terms of conditions, copyright statements, privacy policies, model release forms.
All of these will be discussed in future articles

11. Any areas of expansion

maybe approaching different fields of photography. What are you going to do when you achieve your goal.

Do not get scared again at the beginning as all the answers will come in time and with experience. You just need to start doing it and follow the photography business plan

The photography business plan has to be a live document, and it needs constant updating. It will help you have a direction and a purpose on your way of becoming a professional photographer.


About Christian Tudor

professional photographer, main editor at Academy of Photography and